In-House Interrogatory

Asked: Our weekly question to the In-House community

This week we are talking about employees bringing their own devices (smartphone, tablet) to work and how company legal departments regulate their use.

With people constantly on-the-go at work, it makes sense for them to have mobile devices. But how does a company manage that?

According to Inside Counsel,  companies approach the device issue in different ways:

For example, some companies let employees use their existing personal devices for work with varying agreements for payment of monthly Internet charges. Others give employees stipends to purchase the devices they want. Some do both. Another approach is buying employees’ personal devices for a token amount and agreeing to sell them back at the same price when employees leave the company.

Some companies install mobile device management software on phones to give employers control over the device. The article says employers should have their employees sign an agreement that states the company’s right to monitor and protect data on the devices.

So, here’s our question for you:

Does your legal department have a plan in place for employees’ mobile devices? And, if so, how have you decided to approach the issue?

Leave a comment below or email me.

Continue reading

In-House Interrogatory

Asked: Our weekly question to the In-House community

Companies are increasingly giving general counsels a larger role (and a larger chunk of money) as they are forced to beef up their legal teams to protect themselves from regulatory and legal risks, The Wall Street Journal reports.

This means GCs take on more of a management role at companies and get paid more. In fact, at some companies, in-house counsel are among the top five paid executives.

According to a report to be released Monday by compensation researcher Equilar Inc., the median pay for general counsel who report directly to chief executives was $1.55 million—more than twice that of those further down the corporate hierarchy, whose median pay was $760,000,” the Journal reported.

General counsels are getting paid more as they work with executives on business goals and map out possible risks for their company.

So, here’s our question for you:

Have general counsels taken on more of an executive position at your company? If so, has their pay increased?

Leave a comment below or email me.

Need to Know:

  • The American Red Cross appointed a new general counsel.
  • Marathon Oil named a executive vice president, general counsel and secretary.
  • Entecom’s general counsel retired.
  • What in-house counsel wants and doesn’t want from outside counsel.
  • The National Labor Relations Board’s Division of Judges disposed of 645 cases in FY 2012, issuing 207 decisions and settling 438 cases.
  • Attorneys for a few Penn State administrators say the university’s former GC violated attorney-client privilege by helping prosecutors build a case against the school’s former VP and athletic director.
  • In-house attorneys say a move in-house is no longer a career downshift.
  • J.P. Morgan revamps its legal team.

Bethesda leads way in Md. legal sector campaign contributions

As we await voting results this Election Day, The Daily Record looked at the money the state’s legal sector donated to the presidential campaigns.

But where do all these lawyers live?

Well, according to campaign filings from the Federal Election Commission, the numbers break down like this:

The legal sector employees living in these cities gave the most to President Barack Obama:

1. Bethesda: $630,157

2. Chevy Chase: $424,736

3. Baltimore: $242,531

4. Silver Spring: $219,478

5. Takoma Park: $79,260

6. Rock Hall: $69,402

7. Annapolis: $50,430

The legal sector employees living in these cities gave the most to Republican nominee Mitt Romney:

1.  Bethesda: $144,243

2. Potomac:$121,337

3. Chevy Chase: $111,754

4. Rockville: $19,150

5. Kensington: $18,333

6. Annapolis: $16,680

7. Silver Spring: $15,490

‘Warrior Lawyer’ launches Facebook attack

Baltimore’s “Warrior Lawyer” is waging battle a little farther south down I-95.

J. Wyndal Gordon, the “Warrior Lawyer,” unleashed an attack on Washington, D.C., Councilman Michael Brown in a post on Facebook this week.

“I never was much into D.C. politics, but I do know a Rat when I smell one,” the post begins.

Gordon is representing Brown’s former campaign manager, Hakim Sutton. Brown fired Sutton after discovering campaign funds were missing. Gordon wrote the post after Brown held a news conference announcing the $114,000 in missing campaign money.

Gordon went on to accuse Brown of “skulduggery and debauchery,” saying Brown failed to properly pay employees and hinted that Brown himself had taken the missing money.

“It is due to his own laziness, arrogance, narcissism and greed that Brown finds himself in the position he’s in today [with little money], — not some false claim of theft as he would have the public to wholesale believe,” Gordon wrote in the post.

In-House Interrogatory

Asked: Our weekly question to the In-House community

It’s all about the money this week in In-House Interrogatory.

An article in Corporate Counsel discusses general counsels’ opinions of alternative fee arrangements.

A study by ALM Legal Intelligence found that the number of in-house legal departments using alternative fee arrangements has slowly risen since 2008 while the billable hour has been on the decline. Only 26 percent of legal departments like the arrangements, however, the study found.

Many think that the alternatives are not a huge hit because departments have not acclimated to them yet.

“For corporate counsel,” one legal counsel told Corporate Counsel, “the easiest route is to have an hourly rate, and to get into an AFA takes effort at the beginning.”

So, here’s our question for you:

Has your legal department discussed alternative fee arrangements, and, if so, what has the discussion centered around and what are the pros and cons of such arrangements?

Leave a comment below or email me.

Need to Know:

  • Pepco Holdings Inc. named a new general counsel.
  • Louisiana State University’s general counsel resigned.
  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking for a new general counsel.
  • To get more in-house counsel news, sign up for our FREE monthly email newsletter, In-House Counsel. The newsletter is a compilation of The Daily Record’s coverage of in-house counsel news as well as job listings, movements within the industry and other resources. Click here to sign up today.
  • Follow us on Twitter for the In-House news and discussion: @TDRInHouse
  • Want the latest on who’s been hired, fired or moving and shaking in between? Head to our Movers and Shakers page to find out.
  • For networking events and other happenings this week in Maryland, check out our calendar of events.
  • Get the very latest updates from our law reporters on Twitter: @TDRKristi, @BenMook@Steve_Lash
  • Check out The Daily Record on Facebook.

No money, mo problems

Looks like more bad news this week for law school graduates.

Starting salaries for the class of 2011 are down across the board. Mean starting salaries for first-year associates fell 6.5 percent, according to numbers from the National Association for Law Placement.

The class of 2010 was paid a mean salary of $84,111, while the class of 2011′s mean salary was $78,653, according to the data. Mean salaries fell 15 percent compared to the class of 2009, which reported a mean salary of $93,454.

The median salary fell from $63,00 to $60,000 between 2010 and 2011,  according to the data.

Last month, we wrote about law school graduate employment numbers falling across the country, including for law school grads in Maryland. Fewer than half of the state’s law school graduates from the class of 2011 have full-time, permanent jobs, according to American Bar Association data released in June. Both Maryland law schools, the University of Baltimore School of Law and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, had numbers that fell below the national average of 55 percent.

Then there’s that Boston law firm that advertised a first-year associate position with $10,000 salary.

So, per this week’s news, not only are fewer recent law school grads finding jobs, those who have, are getting paid less. But, hey, at least it’s Friday?